Construction of a new storage reservoir to protect Catterick Village and the A1 motorway from flooding started on Tuesday 10 May.
Mark Scott, Area Manager for the Environment Agency, and Vanessa Gilbert, Regional Director (Yorkshire & North East) for Highways England, teamed up to dig the first trench of the £6 million scheme before mechanical excavators took over.
The new storage reservoir will be built upstream of Catterick – between Brough Park and the A1 – and will be able to hold 91 million gallons of water which, in a storm event, would overwhelm Brough Beck putting the village and surrounding area at risk of flooding.
The project has been jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Highways England and North Yorkshire County Council and will take a year to complete.
The main works will comprise two large earth embankments up to six metres high, diversion of Brough Beck and the construction of a new flow control structure.
Landscaping will also be undertaken which will include tree planting, reinstatement of hedgerows and the creation of a wetland pond.
The flood storage area will provide a significantly improved standard of flood protection for 149 homes and businesses as well as protecting the A1 motorway which is vital to the region’s economy.
The banks are being built by the Environment Agency’s own field team, headed by project engineer Mark Bailey, with specialist contractors being brought in to construct the concrete water control structure.
Phil Boyes, the Environment Agency’s project manager for the scheme, said:
When completed, the storage reservoir will hold flood water back so it flows more slowly down Brough Beck towards Catterick Village and the new section of the A1. This will significantly reduce flood risk in the area.
The scheme would not have been possible without the support of Highways England and North Yorkshire County Council whose commitment was vital in enabling us to secure the necessary funding so the work could go ahead.
We have also worked closely with the local community and Richmondshire District Council to ensure that the works have very little impact on the area.
All construction traffic will access the site from the A1 and the recently completed Catterick central junction, thereby avoiding the need for heavy lorries to pass through the village.
We have also undertaken detailed ecological surveys to ensure that the impact on local wildlife is minimised and we will be installing bird and owl boxes as part of the site accommodation works.